Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Closing Thoughts on the Tulsa Tech Fest

It is good to be home to see my wife and kids, yet in many ways there is still quiet desperation...

It has been a very long time where I could focus on technology alone. Being at the Tulsa Tech Fest reminded me of why I entered IT in the first place. Long past are the days where we actually enjoyed all aspects of our positions and have traded it for what is supposed to be an improvement which I now question.

When we were first born, we were innocent and debt free. As we get indoctrinatededucated, we attempt to improve ourselves by spending massive sums of money on college, buying a home and otherwise putting ourselves into debt. It turns into a vicious cycle where by we conclude that the best answer is to forget about each other as humans and instead focus on human agnostic processes with a sprinkling of piled high soft skills spread neatly.

Sooner or later, we yearn for the elusive work/life balance and let it escape. We felt into the trap in thinking that balance was about the amount of hours one works and not whether the work itself is meaningful or enjoyable. We succumb to the smoke and unlike Bill Clinton, we inhale the fumes which at first makes us nauseous but over time makes us feel high where we need our fix. We look forward to meeting with our pimp and becoming just like him. We feel that we can sneak some off the top, take a taste and get our cut if we work for him and help distribute the cocaine of IT which we hide under the banner of globalization. We know that outsourcing isn't good for anyone, yet we brush away our notion of community for the almighty dollar.

Having a conversation, even for one minute of something that isn't the dog and pony show is like methadone. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel but wonder if you are strong enough to take the first step. The journey is long and as you progress, you realize that others around you are caught in the same trap and also are struggling. You find that globalization is a lie and that in order to survive, you must become part of a community.

Discussions of technology shouldn't be distant memories where we become savage in the pursuit of soft skills and perception management. More importantly, we have allowed perception management to distort reality where we become savage to each other.

On the long flight back, I thought about my two sons and wonder if I should encourage them to follow in my path. By many measures used in today's society, I am successful, at least if materialism is important to you. But, what if I measured myself using metrics of the past where piety, community and constitution where more important than perception, financial measures and alignment.

Have you heard of the necronomicon? I wonder if I am one of the hidden names? I do know that my past definition of community was distorted and that for the first time at the Tulsa Tech Fest, I finally understand the true meaning of community...

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